Orphan nuclear receptors: Shifting endocrinology into reverse

Steven A. Kliewer, Jürgen M. Lehmann, Timothy M. Willson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

431 Scopus citations


Steroid and thyroid hormones and vitamin A metabolites (retinoids) regulate the expression of complex gene programs by binding to members of the nuclear receptor family of ligand-activated transcription factors. The nuclear receptor family also includes many 'orphan' members that currently lack known ligands but that represent candidate receptors for new hormones. Recently, natural and synthetic ligands have been identified for several orphan receptors and used to dissect their biological roles. This 'reverse endocrinology' strategy has resulted in the discovery of unanticipated nuclear signaling pathways for retinoids, fatty acids, eicosanoids, and steroids with important physiological and pharmacological ramifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-760
Number of pages4
Issue number5415
StatePublished - Apr 30 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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